Children who go out of their way to communicate joy and pleasure during shared activities make more desirable friends than children who do not. When researchers study friendships, they consistently find that the single most important element for children in choosing who they will pick as a friend is that the other child is fun to be around. Teens and adults also like to be around people who are fun. Children and teens that initiate contact with their friends and enthusiastically invite them to engage in fun activities together are viewed as more desirable by their peers.
Clear expression of both positive and negative feelings makes for closer and more emotionally rewarding friendships. For a successful friendship, both children must be interested in how the other person feels. They each must express their feelings and seek to understand what caused the emotions. Clear expression of pleasure can be shared and open display of upset can be discussed and resolved, both of which keep the friendship alive and solid. Children and teens that base their words and actions on the emotional reactions of their friends and playmates are well-liked and sought out by their peers.